740.5/11–351: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at Paris 1
secret
priority

Tosec 5. For the Secretary. Reurtel Nov 2 we believe we shld stick to Nov 24 date but consider that decision shld be influenced primarily by views of those already in Eur who are in more immediate touch with Ger and TCC questions. In gen, our views have not changed since departure Perkins and Byroade who shld be available to you in Paris by Mon.

It seems to us delay of one or two weeks wld not make major difference re either Ger or TCC although no doubt it wld help particularly re Ger. We understand even short delay, however, wld make it impossible for Lovett, Snyder and Bradley to attend, which wld be most regrettable. Any delay wld also raise possibility of further postponements and generally relax pressure to move ahead with key issues. Success of Ottawa mtg showed value of holding mtg even when concrete results not assured in advance. Furthermore, it seems to us better to proceed with mtgs as regularly scheduled rather than wait for each important agenda item to be fully worked out before bringing mins together. This wld inevitably tend to undesirable long gaps between mtgs such as occurred between Brussels and Ottawa. Postponement might also be interpreted by smaller NATO countries as indicating desire Big Three to reach prior settlements important questions and only hold NAC mtgs when these cld be presented for rubber stamping.

Of course, if we go ahead with Nov 24 mtg or one held only shortly thereafter, we might face need for further brief mtg, presumably in Jan. This latter mtg wld be neces because of Ger question and also possibly to put seal of Council approval on work of TCC which it created at Ottawa. Nevertheless in our opinion, most considerations lead to conclusion that we shld hold to Nov 24.

We are strongly opposed to Schuman suggestion of postponement to Jan which wld have effect of once more permitting Fr to shy away from some of realities of EDFNATO–Ger complex. Also such long postponement might do Itals considerable disservice.

[Page 699]

Believe important new consideration in favor Rome mtg Nov 24 raised by final sentences para 3 Har 122 (Norforn 14) Nov l.2 Balance this tel also pertinent to consideration of date for Rome mtg.

Def viewpoint set forth in Lovett’s msg to you (Tosec 2 Nov 23) and has not changed.

Webb
  1. Drafted by Parsons and cleared with Bonbright and Martin of EUR, Lewis of GER, Department of Defense, and Deputy Under Secretary Matthews; repeated to London as Todep 297.
  2. Not further identified.
  3. Not printed; it reported the views of Secretary of Defense Lovett which favored no postponement of the NATO meeting. Lovett stated that his schedule would not allow him to attend the meetings if they were held later than the 24th. (740.5/11–251)